Coroner: Teen died from drinking too much caffeine too quickly

Posted May 16, 2017 by Arthur Weinreb
A coroner in Richland County, South Carolina determined a healthy 16-year-old who collapsed and died in class last month, died from consuming too much caffeine too quickly.
Some of the most common energy drinks available in the market
Some of the most common energy drinks available in the market
D.ST. via
David Cripe seemed to be a normal, healthy teenage boy. On April 26, he collapsed in his high school classroom and died about an hour later. His death was determined to have been caused by drinking too much caffeine in too short a time.
Yesterday, Coroner Gary Watts held a news conference. The coroner said Cripe’s death was as a result of a “caffeine-induced cardiac event causing a probable arrhythmia.” Further tests had been ordered after an initial autopsy failed to show a cause of death. The autopsy had revealed no signs of a pre-existing heart condition.
Watts also said Cripe was a model student who was against drugs and alcohol. No drugs or alcohol were found in his system when he died.
In an investigation that included interviews with Cripe’s friends, the coroner determined Cripe had drank a latte from McDonald’s, a large Diet Mountain Dew and an energy drink. While the person who saw him drink the energy drink could not remember the brand of the beverage, Watts was told it was the size of a large soft drink and Cripe chugged it.
All these drinks were consumed in a period of two hours. Based upon this and his weight, it was determined the amount of caffeine consumed exceeded what is considered to be a safe level.
Watts made it clear Cripe did not die from a caffeine overdose as such; rather it was the short period of time in which the teen consumed the three drinks. The coroner also said others, as well as Cripe in the past, may have consumed as much caffeine in the same time period and suffered no ill effects.
Watts said he was not slamming the companies that make these beverages but wants people to understand the dangers associated with drinking too much caffeine in a short period of time. As to energy drinks, Watts says he is telling his friends and family not to drink them. As to caffeine in general, Watts said he is not telling people to not to consume caffeine but rather to watch how much they drink and how they do it.
Cripe’s father Sean was present at the press conference. He said David was “a great kid” and he hopes something good will come from his death. He asked parents to please talk to their children and asked teens and students to stop buying energy drinks.
Previous studies have shown energy drinks can be dangerous and potentially fatal, especially for young children. Their ingredients, including sugar and caffeine, can cause seizures, abnormally high blood pressure and irregular heart rhythms.